This is page numbers 4691 – 4742 of the Hansard for the 17th Assembly, 5th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was program.


The House met at 1:32 p.m.


The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Good afternoon, colleagues. I would like to wish everyone a happy Inuvialuit Day today.


I’m supposed to have a day off, though.


First, I would like to say Happy 30th Anniversary to

the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. Thirty years ago I was a little kid in Tuk watching our land claim being signed. To see where it has come from to now, it’s awesome. I’m a proud Inuvialuit. I would like to thank everybody up in IRC for doing all the good work they are doing for us in our local communities as well as our community corporations. Thank you for all the work you’re doing for the beneficiaries.

Today I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the students in Nunakput for graduating from Arctic College, to our graduates in the communities and all the determination and hard work they’ve done to get to where they are at in their life. One thing today, I’m a really proud dad because my son is graduating today in Whitehorse, Yukon.


I would like to congratulate my son Matthew, and my daughter Kirstin, who will be graduating in Tuk. To all the graduates in Tuk, I’m proud of you all and the accomplishments you’ve made. I hope they take the opportunities for post-secondary education, do a little bit of travelling and I wish you all the best for the exciting time life has to offer you. To all the hunters on the coastline who are hunting geese, please be safe in traveling and happy hunting to you all. To all the people who are hunting all over in Nunavut who are still on the coast hunting on the Yukon side, happy hunting. It’s a good day today; it’s our last day here.

Item 2, Ministers’ statements. The honourable Minister of Justice, Mr. Ramsay.

David Ramsay

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart, shock and sadness that I speak to you today about the tragedy that occurred last evening in Moncton, New Brunswick. Three RCMP officers have lost their lives and two officers have been injured in the line of duty in a way that makes no sense to any of us.

I know that I speak for all of us in extending our deepest condolences to the families of the members who gave their lives, and to the families of every RCMP officer serving in New Brunswick, in the Northwest Territories, across Canada and throughout the world. I have family in Moncton, so this strikes very close to home for me.

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to have the RCMP as our territorial and national police service. It is an honour to work with Superintendent Ron Smith and all the members and staff of RCMP "G” Division who work hard to make our homes and communities safer places, and to witness the commitment that members of the RCMP bring to their job every day, knowing the risks they face. These are our community members, friends and neighbours.

Mr. Speaker it is not certain what took place last evening, but when tragedies such as this occur, it strikes deeply in the heart of all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen members and the entire RCMP. I sincerely hope that our condolences bring some comfort to them during this very difficult time. We pray for Moncton. Thank you.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Ramsay. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members’ families back in Moncton.

The honourable Premier, Mr. McLeod.

Bob McLeod

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

As Members of this House are aware, the Government of the Northwest Territories will host the 32nd Annual Meeting of

Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for the Status of Women on June 19 and 20, 2014, in Detah. I look forward to co-chairing this important meeting with the Honourable Kellie Leitch, the federal Minister for the Status of Women.

My colleagues and I will discuss a number of key priorities shared by federal, provincial and territorial Ministers. One issue that has been a long-standing priority of Ministers is ending violence against women and girls. This is an issue for all of us and a particular challenge in the North as Aboriginal women and girls experience violence at a disproportional rate in the Northwest Territories and across Canada.

The Government of the Northwest Territories has a number of initiatives aimed at addressing the issue of violence against women and girls in the Northwest Territories. We work with local organizations that are helping women, men and families to prevent violence. At the meeting in Detah, we will share how the Government of the Northwest Territories is working with community partners to develop action plans to reduce poverty, develop the economy and keep our communities healthy and sustainable.

Status of Women Ministers will also be discussing their work in promoting and advancing women in leadership. This includes fostering women’s active participation in community, regional, territorial and federal electoral processes and increasing the number of women appointed to corporate boards. We also want to encourage women’s participation in growing economic sectors like resource development and other non-traditional occupations. This is an area where we are seeing progress in the Northwest Territories. On a recent visit to Inuvik, I was particularly impressed with the number of women that I saw driving 40-tonne rock trucks as part of the construction of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway Project. As Members are aware, many of our industry partners are looking for ways to increase the number of women in their workforces in many of the trades and non-traditional occupations.

While we have made much progress in advancing women in leadership, including within the Government of the Northwest Territories, there are many other women who face barriers and miss opportunities to contribute to the success of our territorial prosperity. Increasing the role of women in leadership is about equality, but it is also about the contribution that women will make if they are

given the opportunity. It is about strengthening our territory for the benefit of all Northwest Territories residents.

Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to this meeting. It is an important opportunity for the federal, provincial and territorial governments to come together to discuss how, by working together at all levels, we can address the serious barriers to equality that continue to exist in Canada today. By coordinating our efforts, we can improve the safety, security and prosperity of women living in every community all across our country. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Minister of Lands, Mr. R.C. McLeod.

Robert C. McLeod

Robert C. McLeod Inuvik Twin Lakes

Mr. Speaker, the long-term health of our land, water and environment is critically important to Northerners. Devolution has given the Government and Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories new powers for managing the land and its resources sustainably and responsibly. The new Department of Lands has been established to help fulfill our new responsibilities and meet the expectations of Northerners. I am pleased to speak to Members today about the work that the new department has been doing since April 1st .

The role of Lands is to manage, administer and plan for the sustainable use of public land in the Northwest Territories in a fair and transparent manner that reflects the interests of its people. It is responsible for land use administration, including permitting and securities and for compliance and enforcement in relation to land use. It plays a key role in coordinating our government’s participation in reviewing projects going through the development approval process. It is also responsible for developing land use sustainability standards, guidelines and policies guided by the Land Use and Sustainability Framework released in the last session.

Mr. Speaker, the new department is successfully meeting the challenge of protecting the northern environment already. On our first day there was a spill incident. When the spill was reported, inspectors were immediately called into action. Our quick assessment and enforcement advice ensured the spill was cleaned up in a timely fashion without harm to the environment. In total, there have been 38 inspections completed by the regional office inspectors since the beginning of April, and of those, there is one compliance issue under formal investigation.

Project assessment coordination is an important component of the resource management function that Lands became responsible for post-devolution. The Department of Lands is responsible for coordinating GNWT participation in project reviews, ensuring government takes a consistent, thorough and timely approach to reviewing development applications. Since April 1st the department has

provided technical advice or coordination and input into nine project submissions on behalf of the GNWT. Our effective and efficient process for environmental assessment coordination supports the responsible, sustainable management of NWT resources and ensures that Ministers have sufficient time to review and agree on a government response and forward that information to the board.

Managing northern lands and natural resources sustainably requires clear priorities and a consistent approach that is supported by land use planning. The department has already begun discussions with Aboriginal governments on land use planning processes in unsettled regions, a land use plan for the Deh Cho region and a review of the Gwich’in Land Use Plan. Research and development of a recreational leasing policy has also begun, as this is a pressing issue in the Northwest Territories. This important work is detailed and complex, Mr. Speaker. Although I expect to see progress immediately, I also recognize that this will take some time in order to ensure that all parties are comfortable with the proposed plans before moving forward.

Requiring securities as a part of the development approval process helps ensure potential environmental liabilities can be remediated and the northern environment protected. Under devolution, GNWT departments now have responsibility for administration of securities related to their respective legislative mandates. Lands is responsible for holding and coordinating land-based securities for resource projects such as securities related to land use permits or surface leases. In order to institute a coordinated and government-wide approach to management of financial assurances and potential liabilities on public lands, the Department of Lands proposed the creation of a liabilities and financial assurances division. I will be moving to establish this office in the coming months and will update Members on its role and activities as work proceeds.

Since April 1st , staff have been developing

departmental processes and procedures, filling vacant positions, implementing a building relocation plan, developing consultation, French language communications, and divisional work plans and attending required training. This work has provided the foundation for the department to begin focusing on its priorities.

As a new department and in taking on new legislation, there were several immediate matters that needed to be attended to. Several small legislative amendments were required, a plan to create the NWT Surface Rights Board was developed, and Lands continues to work with the federal government to implement the changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, resulting from the federal government’s Regulatory Improvement Initiative, including the implementation of timelines.

Although much has been accomplished since establishing the Department of Lands on April 1st ,

Mr. Speaker, there is still a lot of work to complete. One of the most important priorities for Lands is the amalgamation of the Northwest Territorial Lands Act and the Commissioner’s Land Act. This work will begin soon and will be a significant effort which will take several years to complete.

Mr. Speaker, I am confident that the team we have established is well placed to make significant progress on the priorities that have been outlined for Lands. Again, recognizing it will take some time, we are committed to working with all landowners to responsibly and sustainably manage the lands, waters and natural resources of the Northwest Territories for the benefit of current and future generations. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. The honourable Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Mr. Lafferty.

Jackson Lafferty

Jackson Lafferty Monfwi

Mr. Speaker, our work on Education Renewal and Innovation is well underway, with more feedback, information and support coming forward as we share our work with northern stakeholders and experts in the field.

As you know, we have held extensive engagements with many of our stakeholders, including our education partners. This inclusive approach has continued into the development of the action plan. As we speak, the ERI team is out in the communities and regions talking to the public, teachers, parents and students. Early feedback from these meetings is very positive and people are engaged and asking good questions. All this feedback will help shape our three-year action plan.

Because we have heard from many education authorities that we need to get out into the communities, the finalization of the action plan will be a little delayed. I now expect the draft action plan to be ready this fall, coinciding with the development of business plans.

Mr. Speaker, education is changing around the world. Studies and research are emerging daily on

the need for change, that our children are not prepared for the world today. We agree, and we are gratified to learn that others do as well.

In fact, we are hearing from national and world leaders in education and related fields, providing us feedback on our proposed approach.

This past January some of you had the opportunity to meet Dr. Stuart Shanker, a world authority on self-regulation. He wrote:

“My immediate thought when I read Directions for Change was that it presents us with an inspiring “vision for the future” that applies to all children in Canada. Directions for Change will not only shape the future of the NWT but will, I hope, be read and embraced by the entire country.”

We recently also received a letter from Dr. Allan Luke, an international leader in education research. In his letter he indicates that the work he is doing in Australia strongly supports the approach we are taking:

“We have a decade of evidence from Australia but also from the U.S. and New Zealand systems that “back to basics” approaches – no matter how appealing to many – simply do not begin to address the core issues that, I believe, your Directions for Change


addresses head on… What is so laudable about your work is that it is “whole scale” – at the system and school level. It offers a realistic but positive overview of challenges, and then proceeds to provide a larger template for moving schools and classrooms, teachers and administrators, students and communities forward.”

Mr. Speaker, this is the feedback we are receiving from experts that live and breathe educational change. To see these words volunteered to us after a review of our Directions for Change is emphatic reinforcement that we are doing good work, it is work we need to do, and work that is moving in the right direction.

I will be tabling a collection of northern, national and international comments on the framework later today. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Lafferty. The honourable Premier, Mr. McLeod.

Bob McLeod

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, one of the aims of devolution was giving Northwest Territories residents the powers and authorities they need to turn northern potential into prosperity for themselves and the country.

I have said many times that the North is the future of Canada and that our potential is bright. We have

a strong resource base that includes diamonds, gold, tungsten, rare earth metals and other minerals. We have world-class oil and gas reserves that stretch from the Beaufort-Delta through the Sahtu and down into the Deh Cho. We have untapped hydro potential that could provide clean, affordable energy for our homes and businesses and drive economic growth at home and in the South. With all this potential, Mr. Speaker, it is time for this territory to make its mark on the national and international stage.

I am pleased to say that awareness of northern potential outside of our territory continues to grow. Last month the Conference Board of Canada released its “How Canada Performs Economy” report card, which found that the three territories are outperforming most of their provincial counterparts economically. GDP for the three territories combined is expected to grow by 3 percent, exceeding the Canadian average. This confirms earlier forecasts by the Conference Board that the GDP of the territories could double by 2020, driven by long-term global demand for minerals and metals.

The Northwest Territories received an A-plus on income per capita and an A on GDP growth, with real GDP expected to grow by 1.7 percent this year. They predict that high public sector investment and the anticipated development of a new diamond mine and three new metal mines this decade will help the economy grow and generate new jobs between 2016 and 2019. While our score on labour productivity growth was low, based on weakness in the mining sector, the Northwest Territories still has the highest labour productivity in Canada and is second only to Norway among 16 international peers the Conference Board used for comparison in drafting its report.

This positive outlook for the North was confirmed late last month with the release of a policy brief from the Centre for International Governance Innovation, called “The Northwest Territories and Arctic Maritime Development in the Beaufort Area.” The report called the Northwest Territories “arguably the most promising economic region in the Canadian Arctic in terms of public and private potential, scale of resources, variety of transport routes, well-functioning territorial government and close cooperation with neighbours.” Our territory was noted for its impressive achievements in responsible resource and community development, and devolution was cited as an important step that will enhance our economic self-reliance.

For all these positive predictions, though, the CIGI stated that the lack of adequate transport corridors and infrastructure arising from complex permitting regulations and governance is preventing the territory from fully realizing its economic potential. The report’s authors called for greater federal fiscal

leadership and planning and recommend the Government of the Northwest Territories use devolution as a new opportunity for enhanced land/marine partnerships with the federal government, similar to federal/provincial nation building transportation projects in the South.

Mr. Speaker, these two reports and their recommendations highlight the message I have been delivering since I became Premier: The Northwest Territories has the resources to create prosperity and drive economic growth here at home and across Canada. Federal partnership and investment in the Northwest Territories continues to be necessary and will help this territory create jobs and economic opportunities that will benefit all Canadians.

Our government is doing its part to capitalize on the North’s potential. Devolution was an important step that gives Northerners the tools they need to manage and promote responsible, balanced development that creates prosperity while protecting our land and environment according to northern priorities and values. We continue to plan for and invest in strategic infrastructure projects that support economic growth and development, projects like the Mackenzie Valley fibre line, hydro expansion, the Mackenzie Valley Highway and the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway, which includes a substantial financial investment from the Government of Canada.

Our government’s agenda for prosperity is about more than just economic development, Mr. Speaker, although economic development is a foundation that we must have for success. Our agenda also includes plans for social and human development like education renewal, early childhood education, the Anti-Poverty Strategy and Mental Health and Addictions Plan. It includes plans for sustaining and protecting our environment like the Land Use and Sustainability Framework, Water Strategy and Energy Conservation and Alternative Energy initiatives. Our agenda includes plans for sharing the benefits of a prosperous and environmentally sustainable territory with all communities and regions through initiatives like decentralization and regional recruitment and capacity building initiatives, supported by plans like the Economic Opportunities Strategy and Mineral Development Strategy, that will help grow and support diversified economies throughout the Northwest Territories.

The Northwest Territories is being recognized

across Canada for its great potential, Mr. Speaker. We have known all along that we can be a strong, contributing member of Confederation. Now is the time to fulfill our promise and build the strong, self-sufficient territory we have described in our vision, in partnership with the Government of Canada, Aboriginal governments, community governments,

business, non-governmental organizations and all the people of the Northwest Territories. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod.

Bob McLeod

Bob McLeod Yellowknife South

Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise Members that the Honourable Michael Miltenberger will be absent from the House today to meet with the federal Minister Joe Oliver in Toronto. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. McLeod. Colleagues, today I’d like to rise and draw attention to the gallery of Andy and Delphine Langlois. Our Clerk’s parents are here visiting. They are formerly from Yellowknife but they’re living in Vernon, BC. Welcome to the House.


Item 3, Members’ statements. The honourable Member for Hay River North, Mr. Bouchard.

Robert Bouchard

Robert Bouchard Hay River North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It’s great to see some youth in the audience today. Like you indicated today, there are quite a few graduations going on in the Northwest Territories.

I guess I’d like to speak about the education system right now. It’s in a bit of turmoil and the fact is there are lot of DEAs and authorities that are looking at what’s going on in the education system today.

Junior kindergarten is being rolled out by the government. We’ve had lots of questions in this House. This session has been mainly about asking… Every MLA has asked questions on junior kindergarten or education renewal and what the situation is.

They are definitely in turmoil. People currently in the education system are doing their hard work, and I don’t doubt that the Department of Education and the Minister are trying to make our education system better, making graduation levels higher and getting people educated in the Northwest Territories.

But right now there’s turmoil in how they’re doing it. How these two initiatives are being funded is under question in a system that was already under stress. You know, student-teacher ratios and people not having enough assistance, not enough people to support the youth that we have in our system.

We continue to ask questions and I’ll have more questions today on how we’re funding these

programs without any additional funding. It is causing turmoil throughout the Northwest Territories and it seems like the Department of Education wants to steamroll these initiatives through without even consulting or getting feedback. They’re getting tons of feedback on how are we supposed to do this, how can we do this with the same amount of dollars.

I will have questions for the Minister of Education on junior kindergarten. It is very difficult. It is frustrating from this side that we’re not getting much direction from the department on how we can do all this work without any additional funding. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bouchard. Member for Weledeh, Mr. Bromley.

Bob Bromley

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of my fondest memories from early childhood was visiting O’Callahan’s amazing and magical cabbage patch near where the Explorer Hotel now stands.

In those days if you wanted fresh vegetables here or, indeed, anywhere in the NWT, you usually grew them yourself. Back then, home and market gardens throughout the Territories supplied people with enough vegetables to meet their needs for a healthy diet. After losing that tradition, the Growing Forward II Program, a joint funding program between Canada and the GNWT, was meant to support a local produce revival. Unfortunately, red tape and delays, changing rules and inconsistent management are delaying delivery of this vital support to an industry that is extremely time sensitive. While pouring timely and large pots of money into the Take A Kid Harvesting portion of the program, growers’ applications and appeals are literally delayed for months.

Community gardeners are increasingly frustrated. After debilitating delays, delivery of the wrong soil products and other royal faux pas, we had hoped ITI would be tuned up this year. No such luck. Sadly, we see a repeat pattern this year.

Meanwhile, however, the Yellowknife Farmers Market is moving forward with the unhesitating support of the City of Yellowknife. I am very pleased to note that this Tuesday the market opened for the first evening of the year. With more vendors than ever and more customers than ever, leading to long but excited lineups, it was a very successful start to this year’s season.

While we were busy here in session, Marianne, my wife, was able to attend the market and come home with two bags of fresh lettuce and spinach, amongst other purchases. Last night, on the 4th of June, we

ate our first fresh local green salad of the season.

These market pioneers in food security are bringing back the old days in new ways. Last year the exchange at the Yellowknife Market Garden not only led people to a more active lifestyle that was better for our environment and health, they contributed half a million dollars to the local GDP and a stronger community. I have even greater expectations for market success this year. Please join me in congratulating Yellowknife Farmers Market launch of year two.

I seek unanimous consent to conclude my statement.

---Unanimous consent granted

Bob Bromley

Bob Bromley Weledeh

With this activity and fresh greens on the table, I’m really getting in the mood for summer, and I bet you are too. I’d like to wish you, my colleagues and staff and all of your families the very best for a safe, fun and restorative summer. I’d like to say that for all the people of the Northwest Territories as well.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. The Member for Inuvik Boot Lake, Mr. Moses.

Alfred Moses

Alfred Moses Inuvik Boot Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Over the last two weeks here we have been coming down hard on the Department of Education with some of the programs they’ve been implementing, and it’s also people from the public and other organizations, but sometimes we have to draw attention to and we can’t overlook some of the successes that we see with these guys, the department, and the support they give to our students.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day in the community of Inuvik as we graduate our second graduating class from East-Three Secondary School. At this time I’d just like to congratulate the 36 graduates reaching a significant milestone in their lives and setting a standard for future grad classes. Thirty-six is probably one of the biggest graduating classes we had out of Inuvik. A lot of these students I’ve seen grow up through the elementary school system and helped assist in coaching them, so it’s great to see them reach this milestone. I congratulate them and wish them all the best.

Actually, I also want to congratulate and recognize any of the graduates who had to face extra challenges by coming to Inuvik to do their schooling from some of the surrounding communities.

I’d also like to give special thanks to the teachers for all that they do to assist our youth to succeed and graduate and be able to walk tomorrow. Not only them, but we had assistants, we had school staff in keeping the school operating, and they all

had a big part in seeing these 36 students walk tomorrow and receive their diploma.

The commitment and hard work of these graduates has finally paid off and tomorrow will certainly be one of the biggest days of their lives. I just want to give a quick message to these students that I wish them the best in their future endeavours in whatever they do, but I’ve always been a big supporter of education and I hope a lot of them continue to further their education whether it’s in a trade, a skill or go receive post-secondary education in an institution down south or enrol in the Aurora College system as well.

Tomorrow the graduation ceremonies take place. I know there are going to be a lot of happy faces. Minister McLeod and myself attended last year, and a lot of the individuals that were there, we saw a lot of families who actually were so happy and filled with joy to see their students graduate. Sometimes it was the first child in their family to graduate.

Tomorrow, I think, is going to be a very happy day for a lot of people in Inuvik. Families, friends, educators, supporters, but a special thanks to the parents who get these students up in the mornings, get them out the door to the classrooms and make sure they get their homework. As I said, tomorrow will be the biggest day in the lives of these students. I just hope that they celebrate responsibly. These graduates are role models and leaders for their younger siblings, their peers and the community of Inuvik.

Good job. I just wanted to express my happiness to the graduates and their families and the community of Inuvik.

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Moses. The Member for Frame Lake, Ms. Bisaro.

Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Members’ Statements

Wendy Bisaro

Wendy Bisaro Frame Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Ten days from now, June 15th , is Elder Abuse Awareness

Day, and I’m wearing purple today to again highlight and bring awareness to the problem of elder abuse.

Elders make a difference in our communities every day. They are deeply involved in our communities, and their contributions, big and small, benefit NWT residents of all ages. Elder abuse, though, is a significant threat to the older residents of the NWT in both small communities and larger centres. In the last 30 years or so, elder abuse has become an increasingly important issue and is now seen as a public problem that needs attention.

The NWT is celebrating Senior Citizens Month for the first time this year and we’re the first jurisdiction in Canada to set aside a whole month, this month of June, to recognize and spend time with older adults.

Just a reminder, elder abuse is defined as any kind of physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse as well as neglect. Perhaps surprisingly, male elders are at almost the same risk for abuse as female elders. Elders are taken advantage of because they are physically frail or have diminished capacity. Family members often extort money from their elders or force them to sign over property. Elders, unfortunately, are an easy target.

Mr. Speaker, elder abuse does not discriminate. It happens in institutions as well as private homes and to elders of all ages.

Our elders should be respected and honoured. They hold the wisdom, the history and traditional knowledge of our communities and our territory. We must not ignore elder abuse, and understanding it gives us the power to fight it.

Society has to recognize that elder abuse and neglect is occurring and raise awareness of the problem. We must inform health and social services practitioners and the general public about elder abuse. We all must know how to identify the signs of elder abuse and know where to find the help to combat it.

We need to use the media to change attitudes and reduce stereotyping of the elderly. We need to educate our elders, as well, to help them fight back.

All of these actions bring the problem of elder abuse out into the open and encourage acknowledgement that it is a problem and let’s start to eradicate it.

So to all my colleagues, on Sunday, June 15th ,

wear purple as you did on Monday. Find an elder, show them the respect they deserve and let them know you care. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Members’ Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Ms. Bisaro. The honourable Member for Range Lake, Mr. Dolynny.

Daryl Dolynny

Daryl Dolynny Range Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We are just taking our first steps in a new regime in which a Minister responsible for non-renewable resources is also the regulator of these developments. This structure is quite common across Canada, but this is now a new reality for the Northwest Territories consensus-style of government.

I believe many Members of this House are still a bit perplexed on how we will plan to collaborate as a Caucus in our roles in consensus government with senior bureaucrats and other key stakeholders to establish a balanced and reasonably sustainable approach to project development in the Northwest Territories.

Therefore, today I wish to provide a homework list of my top eight questions for the Minister and

department to work on during our down time this summer. At times the regulator is privy to information that would not be in the public’s best interest to disclose or debate, such as a company’s net profit projects, so how will situations like these be dealt with in response?

How can we ensure that information disclosure will respect the public’s best interest and not place any corporation, agency or other organization at a significant advantage or disadvantage?

How will corporate involvement and development of government programs and strategies, such as the Mineral Development and Economic Opportunities strategies, continue under this new regime?

How can we ensure that all residents of the Northwest Territories will have the opportunity to be represented in the Legislative Assembly’s decision-making process?

Will the Legislative Assembly be able to convene a joint committee on matters related to oil and gas operations similar to the Yukon’s current all-party committee on hydraulic fracturing?

Will Regular Members and committee staff still be able to participate in fact-finding missions, representations or other reviews of oil and gas development and technology?

How will decisions be reached in situations where the views of departmental advisors differ widely from the oil and gas committee or the Members of the Legislative Assembly?

Finally, Mr. Speaker, outside their review process, are other Cabinet members allowed to make their opinions known to the regulator?

Clearly, my concern today is how consensus-style government will withstand the rigour and complexity with that of devolution authority and regulatory control. The Cabinet and Premier are now tasked to ensure transparency and accountability and I look forward to hearing responses to my concerns the next time we gather.

Until then, to all my colleagues, residents of the Northwest Territories and to you, Mr. Speaker, I wish everyone a very safe summer. Thank you.